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Thursday, January 15, 2015

A New Me, Round 2 (or Tim Vs. The Machine)

Last night I went back, back to the gym, back to face my slothful, sedentary existence.  Monday, I had a dental appointment (just a routine cleaning, checkup, and lecture, (no cavities, if you were worried, I was)) so it was about 3:00 PM when I got to the gym.  Yesterday it was about 4:30, so there were a lot more people.  Young, fit, athletic people.

These people were unafraid of technology, mechanical equipment, or looking silly in the gym.  They have clothes to accent their fitness, to emphasize their athleticism, to boast of their youthful, healthy lifestyles.  These are people who jump onto a fitness machine, and bend it to their will.  It is a tool, and they use it.  Their relationship with fitness equipment is slightly different than mine.

They leap on a treadmill, stationary bike or resistance trainer, unafraid, and take off, a jet powered thrill ride to good health.  I approach slowly, trying to stay downwind, cautious, until I am close enough to grab on, and wrestle it into a draw, hoping it doesn't kill me.

In a row of 5 treadmills, I had the far right machine, and on the far left were two young people each using a treadmill, between us two were unused.  They were, from the way it sounded to me, sprinting, at a breakneck pace, running as though demons were chasing them, pushing the machines, and their bodies, to the limit.  To my keenly trained ears, and well honed sense of reality, these people were running for their lives.  Here is the crazy bit, despite the fact that they were sprinting in an all out assault on some sort of record for speed and endurance, they were having a spirited, lively conversation, laughing, and enjoying the heck out life, and each other.  All at a heart stopping, lung destroying dead run.

Atilla the personal trainer
On the other side, more young people were using resistance trainers to make themselves even more muscular and well defined.  Lifting enormous piles of weights with ease.  Muscles contracted, mountains moved, big, toothy smiles, light, cheerful, happiness, and joy, it made me a little nauseous. Weren't these people supposed to be working out?

I raised the incline, and increased the speed, and looked straight ahead.  Listening to "Attila Cometh"  by Mike Duncan, for his "History of Rome" podcast.

It seems Attila and his brother Bleda had made a big mistake driving into Persia.  It was a costly, unsuccessful campaign, and the Hun population was not pleased.  Turns out people have been complaining about the government for hundreds of years, who knew.  Anyway, he decided to make a little extra coin by kicking the livin' crap of the Romans, and he did. Constantinople (the Eastern Roman Empire) made this much easier, having sent legions of troops to the Western Roman Empire (Roman Empire Light) to battle the Vandals in North Africa earlier, turns out this was a big mistake. Anyway, the Huns won, the Romans agreed to pay them a lot of money every year to not invade them, and life went on.  Who can resist a story with Vandals, Huns, and Romans?  I can't.

It was pretty intense for me, I went farther, faster, and higher than Monday, and my legs were rubbery, and my breath came in gasps, and I slowed down.  But, I took the advice offered so freely on Monday, and did it again.  "Interval training" is what she called it, torture, and deprivation, and pain is what I was thinking.   Honestly, though, I feel pretty good about myself  (which is more than Theodosius (emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire) can say, more on that later).

So, I will be back on Friday, to show all of those kids how old people can still get up and go, as long as it isn't too high, or too fast, or too far.